Finland-based OTT messaging service provider Jongla is targeting the African market with a campaign stressing that people there can save money and reduce their data requirements by switching from WhatsApp and other OTT apps. Jongla has been specifically developed for people living and working in Africa and other emerging markets in which data costs are high and coverage is unreliable. Jongla says it is the most data-light instant-messaging app in the world, taking only 3.4 MB to download on Android phones compared to WhatsApp (23.7 MB), Facebook’s Messenger (30.2 MB); most other messaging apps take up at least 20 MB. Furthermore, once downloaded, Jongla uses just 10 percent of a handset’s memory, meaning that users do not have to uninstall any apps to make space for Jongla. The app’s unique data compression techniques ensure that it does not consume as much mobile data as other messaging apps for essential background processes. Jongla is platform-independent and works over low-speed Wi-Fi networks as well as 4G, 3G, EDGE and GPRS.
Here is yet another OTT challenge thrown down before the world’s mobile operators. This time, an enterprising developer has found ways to make its app especially easy and cost-effective to use, particularly in markets where the majority of smartphone customers have budget devices and where cellular coverage is not the best. Mobile operators in emerging economies, where cost is a paramount concern, already have a hard time competing with OTT providers when it comes to messaging. With apps like Jongla coming on the market, they will likely have to work even harder to come up with distinctive and appealing offers—for device deals as well as services—in order to keep subscribers messaging over their cellular networks.